Review of Metaphysics 48 (2):428-429 (1994)

Stern uses a very thorough analysis of Plato's Phaedo as a means of attacking the traditional understanding of the Platonic-Socratic view of both the method and the results of philosophy that is found in the middle dialogues. Stern means by "political philosophy" the study of human affairs in general, and he sees Socrates' study of human affairs as described in the Phaedo as involving a type of rationalism that does not rest on a dogmatic assertion about the existence of a transcendent realm of Ideas supplying a clear and unambiguous explanation of things. On the contrary, Socratic rationalism is grounded in an awareness of the limits of human understanding and consists in the critical examination of human discourse as our means of discovering what can be known about the world we live in and the irreducible heterogeneity and irreconcilable conflicts that characterize it. Neither the soul nor the Ideas can be understood apart from their involvement in this world, and both are connected with logos and with heterogeneity in a critical way.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1994482165
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